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Old 07-30-2011, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Newport, ME
276 posts, read 741,551 times
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If I put out some hives and plant bee friendly flowers will the bees come and stay or would I have to order a queen and the bees to add to it. With the problems that the bee colonies are having I would like to give them an area in my yard. This year we have seen a drastic cut in the number of bees in our yard. Will the bait traps I have out for hornets,wasps, and Japanese beetles harm them? I just bought a guide to backyard bees and honey but it really takes about them in terms of getting out the honey. While a tad bit of honey would be nice that's not the main reason for wanting to help them out. Any info would be appreciated.
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Old 07-31-2011, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,721 posts, read 47,472,880 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAINEr View Post
If I put out some hives and plant bee friendly flowers will the bees come and stay or would I have to order a queen and the bees to add to it. With the problems that the bee colonies are having I would like to give them an area in my yard. This year we have seen a drastic cut in the number of bees in our yard.
They do make a pheromone-lure that might draw bees into an empty hive. I have never used one, though I have a friend who has used one [it did not work for her].

An empty hive stands a 1:1,000 chance of drawing a swarm to itself. Assuming that you already live in an area that routinely sees local hives swarming.

If you want bees, buy bees.



Quote:
... Will the bait traps I have out for hornets,wasps, and Japanese beetles harm them?
No.



Quote:
... I just bought a guide to backyard bees and honey but it really takes about them in terms of getting out the honey. While a tad bit of honey would be nice that's not the main reason for wanting to help them out. Any info would be appreciated.
You can husband bees with the mindset of producing honey. However with that mindset your colonies will more likely die and need to be replaced every year.

Or you can husband bees with the mindset of maintaining a healthy colony. Which means that you will likely need to feed your bees, and you will still have a good chance of the colony dying.

I know bee beekeepers who preach buying a new queen every year anyway for every hive.
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,721 posts, read 47,472,880 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAINEr View Post
If I ... plant bee friendly flowers will the bees come ...
Thinking about this, as I was out feeding our livestock, I have bought flower seed before based on seed companies saying that they were bee friendly. Or that a flower was loved by bees. Or that it would draw bees.

Seed company staff sometimes can use 'artistic license' when writing seed labels and catalog descriptions. Some body once saw one bee on a flower so they got it in their mind.

I have learned to never trust seed catalogs.

I have a lot of Greek Mullen growing here, it is supposed to draw bees. In 3 years I have never seen a single bee on any of it.

The past two years we have done planters with mixtures of flowers, solely with the intent to feed the bees. Not any more, I quit.

Bees do like clover flowers. Clover builds the soil and makes a nice carpet. But I really think bees like flowers, they do not care what kind of flower it is.

Last year I harvested a bunch of Black Honey. I did some research and isolated it to one specific weed, 'Japanese Knotweed' looked around and sure enough I have lots of that one weed. They make tiny white-beige flowers that you have to stop and look close to even see. But it was those flowers that produced the majority of our nectar. Black Honey looks like molasses, smells like molasses, and tastes like molasses. It is not a flower that anyone would 'plant' willingly, and not a flower that looks nice. It is horribly invasive.

If you really want to plant something, plant edible perennials that also produce flowers, or else clover.
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Old 07-31-2011, 01:43 PM
 
1,061 posts, read 1,694,436 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAINEr View Post
If I put out some hives and plant bee friendly flowers will the bees come and stay or would I have to order a queen and the bees to add to it. With the problems that the bee colonies are having I would like to give them an area in my yard. This year we have seen a drastic cut in the number of bees in our yard. Will the bait traps I have out for hornets,wasps, and Japanese beetles harm them? I just bought a guide to backyard bees and honey but it really takes about them in terms of getting out the honey. While a tad bit of honey would be nice that's not the main reason for wanting to help them out. Any info would be appreciated.
Lots of interesting Maine bee stories here: Bangor Daily News Search Results for: bees
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:23 PM
 
8,760 posts, read 16,104,943 times
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A friend of mine who is a beekeeper says he wont get diddly for honey this year as it has been so dry. The spring looked promising and his hives were dripping with honey. Now since it has been so dry the bees have had to eat that honey to survive as the nectar in the flowers is not there this year.
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:00 PM
 
11 posts, read 9,317 times
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Default Not quite that easy...

Hi there. My husband and I are beekeepers. I had tried to buy him a hive 'kit' for Christmas one year and after reading and Googling I realized that it wasn't really quite that cut and dry. I'd suggest that if you're really interested you find a local bee club and sign up for a course. They usually start sometime in January/February, run weekly and finish up just in time to install your new 'girls' in their hive. Go for it! You know you want to...
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Old 08-04-2011, 06:37 PM
 
Location: Union, ME
783 posts, read 1,301,331 times
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Maine State Beekeepers Association (http://mainebeekeepers.org/beekeeping-resources/beekeeping-equpment-and-bees/ - broken link)

Seems like beekeeping is becoming of interest to more folks lately. I listened to a nice segment on NPR recently on bees. It's in print here (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=138812543 - broken link).

One more link to info on Maine Beekeeping clubs, assoc's., and groups in the great state o' Maine: Maine Beekeeping Clubs | Maine Beekeeping Associations| Maine Beekeeping Groups
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Old 08-04-2011, 06:43 PM
 
17,158 posts, read 22,161,261 times
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no shortage of bee's around central southern maine- Ive never seen so many nests,
The white tail little bastar*s are quite aggressive (hornets)
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Newport, ME
276 posts, read 741,551 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maureenb View Post
Maine State Beekeepers Association (http://mainebeekeepers.org/beekeeping-resources/beekeeping-equpment-and-bees/ - broken link)

Seems like beekeeping is becoming of interest to more folks lately. I listened to a nice segment on NPR recently on bees. It's in print here (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=138812543 - broken link).

One more link to info on Maine Beekeeping clubs, assoc's., and groups in the great state o' Maine: Maine Beekeeping Clubs | Maine Beekeeping Associations| Maine Beekeeping Groups
I've looked at the local beekeeping associations, there are 2 in my area. I really wasn't looking to have to much spend money on this, it's a little hard to come by. Just wanted to give them a little help but I'll keep thinking about it and reading the bee book I picked up last week.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Newport, ME
276 posts, read 741,551 times
Reputation: 125
Is anyone on here a member of the Somerset Beekeepers? I see they are offering a bee school starting on Feb 12th and was thinking of signing up.
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